As OPPD’s damage assessment teams and field personnel get deeper into restoration efforts, they are finding that complex work is needed to complete remaining repairs. As of 8:45 p.m., approximately 17,000 customers remained without power, down from a peak of 188,000 early Saturday when hurricane-force winds caused destruction throughout our service territory. OPPD remains on track to meet its revised target.
We now have a better understanding of the challenges our crews face with the remaining outages including safe tree debris removal and access to equipment that is tangled up within it. This is dangerous work that requires a slower approach. Therefore, OPPD has adjusted its goal to 92% restoration by 11:59 p.m. tonight, barring any other unforeseen concerns.
This goal includes 4,500 new outages that have occurred in the past 36 hours due to trees and structures, compromised by strong winds, finally falling down on power lines and equipment. With those additional outages included, we expect approximately 15,000 customers will still be without power by the end of today.
OPPD hopes to achieve 96.3% restoration by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, 98.9% restoration by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, and 99.5% restoration by 11:59 p.m. Friday.
We have great support from our line techs, tree crews, downed wire and damage assessment teams, as well as mutual aid from outside utilities electrical companies who are helping to bring the power back for all of our customers. OPPD now has 876 “boots on the ground,” the most ever for a restoration effort in our district. That number includes 110 tree crews (296 people).
The last leg of repairs is expected to take longer due to the extensive damage we are seeing to individual customer electrical equipment, including meter infrastructure ripped from customers’ homes or property. In many cases, customers may need to hire a credible, licensed and bonded electrician to complete work on their end before OPPD can complete work on its end.
We understand how tough it is to be without power for this long, and we want customers to know our crews remain dedicated to getting everybody back online. We won’t let up on our around-the-clock efforts to work as quickly and as safely as possible to restore all outages. To help in our efforts, we ask that the public refrain from approaching those working in the field so they can maintain complete focus on the dangerous work at-hand. This will enable them to work more safely and restore power more quickly.
Remember to always stay at least 20-feet back from downed power lines. Always assume they are live, high-voltage and extremely dangerous. You can report downed lines to OPPD and report power outages, if you have not done so already, by calling 1-800-554-OPPD (6773).
Please visit www.stormandoutage.com for the latest outage numbers, restoration progress updates and safety guidance. And keep in mind, these numbers may fluctuate based upon the potential for new outages that are unrelated to this past weekend’s weather.